The political tussle in the Rivers State House of Assembly continues to brew as 27 legislators from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and loyalists of former Governor Nyesom Wike have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The lawmakers said to be under the leadership of Martin Amaewhule, the assembly speaker and Mr Wike’s ally, announced their defection during the plenary session on Monday.
In their defection letters, the lawmakers alleged that Governor Siminalayi Fubara starved them of funds. They also cited division in the PDP as the reason for their defection to APC.
After reading the letters, Mr Amaewhule directed the house clerk to convey their resolution to the governor.
The development is not unconnected to the political crisis between the faction of Mr Wike, now FCT minister, and Mr Fubara, over control of the state’s political structure. It comes two weeks after Mr Wike publicly declared that 27 assembly members did not support the governor.
“Let me tell you, you have 31 members in the House of Assembly; 27 are against you,” the minister had said while addressing reporters on November 24.
The 32-member house had been divided into two factions since October following the impeachment of majority leader Edison Ehie.
While Mr Amaewhule is leading members loyal to the FCT minister, lawmakers loyal to Mr Fubara chose Mr Ehie as their own speaker.
The political drama continued to unfold as the assembly, under the rulership of Mr Amaewhule, served an impeachment notice on the governor.
Despite President Bola Tinubu’s intervention, the political crisis in the state has continued to intensify.
However, Mr Wike claims he does not have a problem with the governor and was ensuring the state’s political structure was not torn apart.